Edmonton police launch Christmas Checkstop campaign
Published Friday, December 7, 2012 10:52AM MST
The Edmonton Police Service kicked off their Christmas Checkstop campaign on Thursday night in an effort to catch impaired drivers as the holiday party season gets underway.
While Checkstops are run at various times throughout the year, this December campaign means officers will be out every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night until the New Year, trying to curb dangerous drivers.
“It is frustrating when we see the stats, we see the numbers and we see the fatalities come in each and every day and we’re just wondering why these keep happening,” said Leila Moulder with MADD Edmonton and area chapter.
“Impaired driving crashes are completely preventable. It’s 100 per cent a decision made by someone and these deaths are tragic and unnecessary.”
Edmonton police say annually they charge between 2,200 to 2,400 people with impaired driving.
“Unfortunately those numbers stay pretty steady from year to year,” said EPS Cst. David Green.
“To a degree it’s hitting your head against the wall because you want people to stop but so far no luck.”
With a rise in social media use, officers have also come across situations where people are tweeting out Checkstop locations, something officers say is baffling.
“I honestly don’t see any benefit to advertising where we’re doing Checkstops,” Green said.
“I have yet to hear an intelligent argument as to why it’s a good idea to tell people where it is.”
While discouraging, Green says there’s nothing officers can legally do to stop people from sharing Checkstop locations through social media.
MADD says each day there are four Canadians killed on average due to impaired driving crashes and about 173 others are injured.
“Make the right decision. Get that cab, leave your car, if not for yourself then think for others. Think about your family who will be left behind to pick up the pieces without you in their life. Think of the family of those people whose lives you’re endangering,” Moulder said.
“We just encourage everyone to be safe and make those smart decisions, separate your drinking and your driving, find that cab ride home, get a designated driver, do not drink and drive.”
Green says about 700 cars go through a Checkstop in an hour and a half, depending on location.